FPI Say They Will Drive Ahmadiyah Out of Tebet

JUNE 14, 2015

Jakarta. A hard-line Islamic group infamous for its violent brand of intolerance says it will continue efforts to expel Ahmadiyah Muslims practicing in Tebet, South Jakarta.

Chief of the Islamic Defenders Front’s (FPI) Jakarta branch, Habib Salim Alatas, vowed to round up Ahmadiyah residents in the area and surround a house used as the community's headquarters, according to Tribunnews.com

“We will arrive at 9 a.m. and stage a protest to drive them out,” Habib said on Sunday.

On Sunday, the FPI official led a small band of members and a handful of residents in prayer some distance away from the unassuming house, which has been used as a place of worship for the much-maligned group since the 1970s.

“Those who are not Ahmadiyah, come together and let us pray,” an FPI member shouted through a bullhorn.

A more hostile environment greeted Ahmadiyah worshipers on Friday morning, when about 25 residents of the Bukit Duri subdistrict — some wearing FPI shirts — blocked the entrance of the property, effectively barring worshipers from entering and conducting Friday prayers.

Undeterred, the group — consisting of 11 men and two women — peacefully rolled out their prayer mats on the street. The move garnered further criticism, however, as it violated an Islamic edict that calls for at least 40 men — and no women — to perform Friday prayers.

“You can see for yourself: there are only 13 people. And there are women! What kind of Islam allows that?” said Esry, 46, a resident.

To prevent further escalation, police disbursed the crowd and urged worshipers to leave the premises.

The Ahmaidiyah, a branch of Islam that took root in British India in the 19th century, has long been the brunt of violence and protests across Indonesia, with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) calling for an outright ban of the sect.